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Story of a Watershed

Story of a Watershed
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About 7 1/2 minutes long, this film, which was underway well before the hurricane season, could be a good start for fall 2017 geography or science classes aware of recent news events.

It gives an overview of most conditions that occur in a wide variety of watersheds, covering how storm water behaves and nourishes the land as it is funneled towards its final destination, showing problems caused by runoff and opportunities along the way. It concludes with a review of old knowledge and new methods that people are still finding to cooperate with this dynamic reality.

Links given below are just a start for teaching research. If you dig and don't look just at the tops of sites, several have illustrations and maps to offer. Others have suggested class activities to use, depending on class level. You might want to do the crumpled paper demonstration to help show how water moves away from complex peak patterns and finds the valleys. A group could get interested in following a local stream through a town to discover where it "disappears" and reappears. Single students or groups could produce a short paper on the history of a local stream and how it was gradually covered up (or eventually restored). A whole class could work on a large illustration of a local watershed and discover how it can change their understanding and vision of their community (in which things that seem unrelated actually link to each other in a way unlike more familiar driving or walking experiences).

If you can, consider a field trip to some newer rain gardens, or watch one under construction. You might even invite a city planner or engineer to answer questions, or take a trip to a bog garden or wetland trail, an industry that relies on water, or a farm or vineyard with soil protection experience.

Non technical but perhaps unfamiliar terms do appear, that should open discussion. For levels near to high school others can be added for things that people pass by yet don't notice every day, such as flood plains, open and closed channels, culverts, flumes, yard inlets, and street inlets. Illumination of the subtle scales of pervious/impervious surfaces can be a guessing and learning discussion in itself. If you visit a construction site, there are others, both permanent and temporary measures to control erosion such as silt fence, sand filters, check dams, gabions, etc. Each student could be assigned just one to investigate.

Much luck with this rich topic, from Deep River Visions at teacherspayteachers.com

Resources:
http://files.dnr.state.mn.us/education_safety/education/minnaqua/leadersguide/chapter_3/3_3_wonderful_watersheds.pdf

http://www.austintexas.gov/Watershed/YouthEd

https://omsi.edu/sites/all/FTP/files/expeditionnw/4.E.1.Crumple.pdf

http://www.nycwatershed.org/forestry/education-training/urbanrural-school-based-education-initiative/teacher-resources/#video

http://www.mywatershedwatch.org/residents/where-does-your-water-go/

http://www.stlmsd.com/sites/default/files/education/352439.PDF

http://www.stormwater.ucf.edu/toolkit/vol3/Contents/pdfs/Student%20Activities/student_activities.pdf

https://fortress.wa.gov/ecy/publications/documents/0801018.pdf

http://www.geoteach.org/teacher_resources/lessons/Connecting%20through%20Watersheds.pdf

http://www.nyc.gov/html/dep/pdf/activity3whatisawatershed.pdf

http://www.gbra.org/documents/education/ConnectingCommunitiesAndClassrooms.pdf

https://www.nationalgeographic.org/activity/in-your-watershed/

http://www.cacaponinstitute.org/phswr_what_it_is.htm
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